Curriculum Design

Easily Create Common Core Connections With the Ultimate Tunnel Book Resource Guide

Sculpture projects don’t have to involve expensive or hard to find materials.  You can create amazing pieces using an art room staple… paper (this card stock from Blick Art Materials would work well)!  Tunnel books are easily integrated into almost any grade level curriculum or subject matter and encourage critical thinking and problem-based learning. As an added bonus, they are a wonderful way to incorporate Common Core State Standards in both English and Math!

The downside to tunnel books?  They do take some preparation and planning, but not to worry.  Below you will find a list of resources to help you dig deeper into the world of tunnel books:

Inspiration and Samples

Tunnel books have almost a cult following in the art world.  Those who create tunnel books come up with some simply amazing pieces.  Middle school and high school students will thrive on the highly detailed, sky’s-the-limit approach to tunnel books.  At the same time, this project can be simplified and used with young artists too.  These links are destined to get your students fired up no matter the grade level.



Nuts and Bolts

Check out these templates, tutorials and lesson plans to find a design that works for your classroom.

tunnel books


Common Core Connections

common core

Tunnel books involve measuring, cutting, ratios, perspective, story-telling and visual interpretation (to name a few!).  They are a home run when it comes to linking to the Common Core.  If you are looking for help in foraging these connections, check out the Common Core app available on iTunes and Google Play.  It makes combing through the Common Core State Standards a breeze by breaking them down by subject area and grade level.  Best of all, this app trims down a lot of the wordiness of the original CCSS to make them teacher friendly.  And the best part… it’s free!

To get you headed in the right direction, I have included some direct CCSS links below from the Common Core State Standards Initiative:

Possible Math Connections

Possible English Language Arts Connections

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.1
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.2 Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

Integrating art into the common core doesn’t have to be scary! With some thought and preparation, it’s definitely doable!

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How do you sculpt with paper? 

Have you tackled a Tunnel Book project in your art room?  Any tips to share?

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Heather Crockett

Heather Crockett is AOEU’s Chief Academic Officer and a former AOEU Writer and art educator. She is an expert in differentiation, curriculum development, and assessment.

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